How to Trim a Cockapoo

Updated July 20, 2017

The cockapoo is a popular hybrid, designer breed. It is a 50/50 mix of cocker spaniel and poodle. Because a cockapoo is a hybrid dog breed, there is not any AKC standards that help dog owners decide how to groom their dogs. Grooming a cockapoo can be difficult, because there are some cockapoos that resemble cocker spaniels more than they resemble poodles. And there are also some cocker spaniels that resemble poodles more than cocker spaniels. However, there are certain preferences that cockapoo owners have when grooming their pet.

Start with giving your dog a bath.

It is important to make sure that your dog's hair is completely dry before you take the clippers to his hair. This is important for several reasons. Clipping a dry dog's hair is normally easier, because water seems to thicken the coat and clippers can get stuck. Also, your cut can end up uneven if you try to groom a wet dog.

Make sure that your animal is still before starting to groom it. If your animal is squirming around, there is a chance that you may nick its skin. Grooming should be as quick and painless as possible so your pet does not have a traumatising experience and so you can have a clean, well groomed dog. One way to enforce good behaviour while grooming is to make sure your dog's collar is in place and use a leash to control it. It always helps if you have a second set of hands helping you control your pet.

Take your clippers to your pet's fur. If you want more of a shaggy puppy look, set your clippers to a higher hair length, such as 4. This will help give your dog a full, round coat. Cut your dog's facial hair with scissors so that his eyes show. Having a dog's eyes being visible is important for dog and you! The dog will be able to see the world, and you will be able to gaze at your dog's soulful eyes. It is good to make long, slow, straight strokes when grooming your dog. This will help ensure that he won't get any scratches or cuts, and it will also help you get a nice looking haircut.

If you wanted a cut for your cockapoo that would be more suitable for extremely warm temperatures, consider setting your clippers at a lower hair length such as 1 or 2. This will give the cockapoo a shorter, sportier looking coat. Buzz all around, then take scissors and trim your dog's facial features to your liking.

If your cockapoo has extremely curly hair like her poodle parent, then consider shaving at a mid-length clipper setting like 2 or 3 and leaving extra tufts of hair at the tail, paws and face. This will give her a more poodle look.

Don't forget to take care of your cockapoo in other ways to keep him healthy. One of these ways is cleaning his ears. Cleaning his ears is an important maintenance measure needed with any canine friend. This will help prevent infections or other problems that may rack up a huge vet bill.

Clipping a dog's nails is another chore that should get done. If you take your dog on regular walks, the cement of the sidewalk can often grind a dog's nails, so it can be unnecessary to cut them on a regular basis.

Brushing your dog is also important with cockapoo maintenance. Both the poodle and cocker spaniel are known for wavy to curly hair, so brushing your dog is important so they don't end up matted. If your dog is overly matted, you're going to have to give them a buzz cut, which would be a shame, because cockapoos have naturally beautiful coats.


If you have any hesitations about cutting your dog's hair on your own, consider taking your pet to a groomer. Groomers often have waiting rooms where your dog is in your range of vision. Take advantage of this, note the different styles the groomer is using on your dog, and maybe next time, you can groom your pet on your own.


Take your time when grooming your cockapoo. You don't want to hurt her or yourself. Keep in mind that you are working with sharp objects. Protecting yourself and your loved one is important, and taking your time will help you get accurate and safe results.

Things You'll Need

  • Collar and leash
  • Dog clippers
  • Dog brush
  • Hair scissors
  • Dog nail clippers
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About the Author

Tiffany Golfo is a 22 year old graduate from the California Polytechnic University of Pomona. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and hopes to become a participant in the Teach for America program in 2010.